Salve Ristorante Italiano, the 9,000-square-foot, 170-seat restaurant launched by Mi Piaci founders Phil and Janet Cobb and Mi Piaci partner David Stubblefield, is closed. Opened in early 2000, the $3 million McKinney Avenue Milano-style restaurant has been the subject of death rumors for some nine months. Many restaurant-industry pundits predicted the restaurant wouldn't survive the new year. It proved those naysayers wrong, for a little while anyway. Injected with a healthy dose of Dallas dining notoriety from the start, Salve! featured Sharon Hage (from Neiman-Marcus Zodiac Room, now owner of York St.) as executive chef, Kevin Wheeler (formerly of Coco Pazzo and Sfuzzi) as general manager and Wayne Broadwell (formerly of The Mansion on Turtle Creek, now a Dallas publicist) as maître d'. All gradually peeled away from the restaurant that boasted an 1,800-square-foot, fully enclosed open-air courtyard seating 40. The Cobbs could not be reached for comment.
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Sardinian native Nicola Chessa, who worked the kitchen at Arcodoro in Houston before undertaking a fleeting kitchen spurt at Patrick Colombo's Ferré Ristorante & Bar in the West Village, has left his most recent post at Geode on McKinney Avenue. He's landed at Penne Pomodoro, the restaurant Alberto Lombardi created out of the flameout of Avner Samuel's Ethniko and the highly successful Bistro A restaurants that once inhabited the same Snider Plaza space...Sushi Nights, the Deep Ellum restaurant Scott Melton created after a bitter rift with his partners with whom he created Deep Sushi one block over, has folded. A sign in the window says an amusement of some sort called Sanctuary will soon bud in the space. Melton couldn't be reached for comment, but another unrelated Scott Melton listed in the phone book says he has fielded lots of Sushi Nights inquiries, and it wouldn't bother him a bit if he didn't get any more...America's Pub, the 15,000-square-foot multiconcept after-hours nightclub abstraction that arose from the stagnant hops and foam fulminate of the Coppertank Brewing Company space, has sputtered like a pissed-on firework. The massive dancing, theater, sports and food emporium closed last month after opening earlier this year...Norman Reola, winner of The Dallas Morning News Rising Stars Chef's competition, has been bumped up to the executive chef's slot at Pappas Bros. steak house. In the kitchen at the upscale meat market for the last four years as executive sous chef, the former Jaxx Café chef exec and Sfuzzi alumni replaces executive chef Carlos Rodriguez.